USAJOB.GOV SEARCH SKILLS
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I’m not sure when I realized it, but at some point I decide to look at the SEARCH options.
What I found was very helpful. I tend to either search within two parameters, city and/or title. If you have a preference or choose to use the new Hiring Paths options to search utilizing only categorical information such as positions open to only Native Americans, Students or Recent Graduates, or Families of Overseas employees to name a few. While this might be who you are, I find that it’s best to do a full search with no categories chosen as this can be limiting because at the end of the day some positions that are open to the general public could just lead you to a new career path. I’ve even seen two postings, one for the general public and one for current federal employees or special categories.
Typically there are settings built into USAjobs.gov when you search by a specific location. The majority of times that I have used this option it automatically pulls results within a 25 mile radius. As I personally am not concerned with travel time, I generally pull from 50-100 miles at a minimum as this provides me the best field to search from, now if I lived in San Diego perhaps or New York City, the 25 mile search function would be fine. If you use the location search and you want to increase the search area, I suggest doing so before looking at the results.
The number one way I get results is by using the SORT BY box. Typically the landing page of results brings you to the SORT BY “relevance”, while that can be handy if you’re possibly looking at generic search terms like Waco, Texas however even looking at generic search terms I always use the SORT BY “CLOSE BY” function. This is important because if you’re searching for positions you would want to see what’s closing today, meaning by 1159 eastern standard time.
Let’s say for relevance sake you have your resume and base documents uploaded, it’s 1030 and for whatever reason you begin a search. The results pull up 189 positions and rather then sifting through them all, its easiest to see what’s closing in the next hour. Obviously you may get there, finding that position you’re hoping is around the corner just waiting for you to apply to, but why not do it faster, that way on the off chance you have to fill out some paperwork, download a new updated OF-306, you’ve got time on your side. I’ve even seen warnings that the submissions won’t be accepted within 15 minutes of closing date. So start looking at “CLOSE BY” first and then narrow your results.
When narrowing your results you have many options. Pay grade is always a great way to refine your search because unless you’re just looking to get your foot in the door and money isn’t a main consideration then purposely set the TOP FILTER to pay grade and search with the base amount you’ll accept and work your way up to your experience level. You will also note that the TOP FILTER automatically has a sliding bar to increase your distance under the MORE FILTERS tab where you can adjust the LOCATION setting.
While none of these search tricks are out of the box, I hope you find them relevant and make your searches more fruitful to finding that position you are looking to change into a career. I know the “CLOSE BY” filter has definitely saved me some time in the past and I’m sure it will do the same for you. Happy hunting..